Those federal tax cuts could mean lower power bills in Hawaii

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Federal tax cuts could mean lower utility bills in the islands.

The opportune word here: Could.

Hawaiian Electric Companies said its 460,000 customers might pay less for power thanks to federal corporate income tax cuts.

A federal tax overhaul approved late last year lowered corporate tax rates from 35 to 21 percent, starting this year.

Tayne Sekimura, senior vice president and chief financial officer of the Hawaiian Electric Companies, said the utility is "analyzing the impact of the tax overhaul but it's pretty clear at this point that this will benefit most customers."

She added, "We will work with our regulators and the consumer advocate to determine the exact amount of the tax reduction and the best way to pass on the savings."

Hawaii electricity rates have long been the highest in the nation.

The promise of a break for customers thanks to the federal tax cut comes as HECO is also seeking a rate increase on Oahu.

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